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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

It’s using my voice that changes things. That’s all I’ve got. My Voice.

October 14, 2023

After posting the Consent piece, I received some comments that have prompted me to post this piece. It’s a grueling read.

This seems to have happened to all of us at some point in our lives. I was wondering just now if I’m safe from having it happen to me ever again, and the answer is no. Each situation is so unique and so nuanced, it’s so hard to lay down a boundary and be certain I’ve not given mixed messages. There’s such a fine line when things slip from consent to something beyond, when a man says something or touches me in a way that causes that adrenalin rush and I know I’m in danger. It’s happened more than once, looking back. Many times. Always after, I spent an inordinate amount of time after trying to explain the event away in my own mind, certain I deserved what happened because of something I said or did — or didn’t. Which is the same thing I did when I was raped by the parole officer. Except I spent four years trying to blame myself for that, and all I came up with was that he had raped me. I couldn’t talk myself out of that truth, not that time. It was undeniable.

To be safe from ever having this happen again, I’d have to never have sex again. But what would that solve? Nothing. It’s using my voice that changes things. That’s all I’ve got. My Voice.

November 1, 2022

I was raped in January of 2018. He was a parole officer I met on Plenty of Fish. He had a gun. At some point, I’ll publish what I wrote about the rape, but it’s raw, graphic, and horrifying.

At the time, I did not report the rape. I was living in Louisville, it was the same week I had sex with Married Man for the last time, and my life was in shambles. I was incredibly promiscuous. In fact, I slept with three men that same week, one of them being the rapist. I believed I had no credibility. I was not only promiscuous, but I was writing and posting the details of my liaisons.

For four years, every time I heard about rape, or watched any type of depiction, I would have an huge emotional response followed by days, often weeks of severe depression. Finally, I got tired of being triggered so frequently and so often. I got tired of feeling like I wasn’t worth championing because of my lifestyle. I got tired of believing no one would take me seriously because I was a slut. Yep. Ugly words, there. But that’s what I believed. And it just wasn’t working for me anymore.

I looked up the statute of limitations on rape in Kentucky. There is none. So I filed a police report.

Last I spoke with the detective, and it’s been several months, she told me the rapist had refused to speak with the police and the case was on the prosecutor’s desk. That was enough. That was all I needed to know.

I had been taken seriously. It was documented with a law enforcement agency. His name is on a case file. He has been accused.

Do I care if this ever goes to trial? Do I care if he ever has to pay for his crime? Not one bit. I did what I was supposed to do for me. I did what I was supposed to do for the women who come into his life. I did what I was supposed to do for the sex offenders he counsels on consent in his role as a parole officer. He knows I know. He knows his employer knows. He knows the police know. That’s all I needed.

I wrote this letter to the investigator a few weeks back:

Hi L. It’s Coco. I just watched a movie about a rape. It’s called The Luckiest Girl Alive. It’s the first time I’ve been able to watch or hear about a rape that didn’t send me into a tailspin. I wasn’t crying uncontrollably. I wasn’t reliving the rape. You did that for me L. Thank you for that gift. I am so glad that I honored myself in coming forward. Sometimes I feel bad, because I’m sure that his career was greatly impacted, if not destroyed. And I have no satisfaction from any sense of vindication or revenge. Mostly I just have the satisfaction of knowing that, perhaps, he won’t ever be able to hurt someone like he hurt me. And, that he won’t be in a position to counsel sex offenders on what consent means since he does not know himself.


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